Pretty Ugly

Imagine a world without imperfection, no flaws, no errors or anything classified as a mistake. A society where beauty is more important than the individual. The law states that if you look at a Pretty while you're still transforming into one and you'll be imprisoned. Disobey a Pretty and you die. --- After a project called 'Deus Ex' spirals out of control, raises the question whether humanity's reach has exceeded its grasp.


7. Nothing To Hide

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” 
― David Foster Wallice

I woke in a bed hovering two feet away from the ground and wrapped around silky sheets. I was in a different room surrounded by walls coated in a black and white Patton wall covering. Every inch of my body ached with pain as if my skin had been flayed. To my right was a small round table and next to it a translucent wheelchair. On top of the table was  a cup of water and two blue vials. I drank both vials with alacrity, hoping that the blue concoctions would take the pain away.

I glanced down, and slid carefully out of the bed, steadying myself on the wheelchair's arm. I dragged my left foot forward, made sure it's steady, and then pulled the other up beside it. I dragged and shoved both my feet until I reached the shiny metal door. I grabbed onto the doorknob and realized the door was unlocked. I stepped outside the threshold, wishing that my real parents would come for me. Only, I knew my real parents were dead. In my head, I imagined a surprise rescue, and then we'd live happily ever after. In reality, I know I'm an orphan and born in a world of extreme beauty, where people like me are considered ugly.

The hallways were silent and deserted. I kept walking without a specific direction until there were three other corridors intersected. I followed the straight hallway that seemed endless. My feared ebbing with every step.

My snap back undershirt still had its tag near my shoulder. I wondered if they had actually experimented with thirty-five more people. 

 Lined exactly one by one, rooms petered out in the distance. The first door had a peculiar inscription that said D-1 at the end. I took a glance through the small window and saw a small girl shivering in a dark corner, sitting crouched against the wall, pulling her legs to her chest. Her eyes suddenly filled with terror. The room slowly turned stone cold and her body froze completely. She extended her arms and rose up abruptly, sending shards of ice flying everywhere. I took a step back. The door opened wide and a girl with blond curls and green eyes stepped out. I almost didn't believe reality when I reopened my eyes. Her skin was made of tiny crystals and her nails as sharp as a knife. I was mesmerized by the radiance emitting from her body.

               "Where's my mommy?" She asked furiously. 

               "I don't know where she is." I said in a loud, alarmed voice.

Amid the dreadful silence of the hallway, the girl looked down, her skin turned back to normal and her fierce expression disappeared.

               "What's your name?" I asked worriedly and she looked up at me.

               "Daisy." She replied innocently.

               "That's a pretty name." I said and she smiled.

It took me a while to figure out if I could trust her or not. I knew she used to be an ugly girl once like me otherwise she wouldn't be here.

               "I need to find someone too. Why don't you follow me and I'll help you find your mommy?" I added, extending my arm to her. She contentedly nodded her head and grabbed my hand.

I didn't dare to get close to the rest of the doors, fearing something would come out of them. So we continued  to walk and ignored the screams coming from inside the rooms. We took a left turn and rooms made of glass appeared. Rooms from D-30 to D-33 were vacant and then I recognized Jensen's room. It had an inscription in English on his door.

Name: Subject D-35

Ability: Transforms into a super strong pretty. Change in form and reflexes only last a few minutes.

There was an empty bed and a room that echoed with loneliness. I put my hands against the glass and whispered his name, dreading that something bad might have happened to him.

It took me a few seconds to realize that I was in a different body again. My brown hair was gathered and secured at the back of my head with a hair tie, my eyes had a deep shade of brown and tanned skin.

I turned my head around to inspect the next room. I felt a dull taint of fear and pushed it away. I gritted my teeth and stepped forward. The room I had occupied also had an inscription.

Name: Subject D-34

Ability: Immediate transformation of physical appearance. 

I swallowed as I read the words, suddenly I realized what the blue vials had contained.  

               "Shape Shifter." I whispered to Daisy who was standing next to me. 

               "Like a pretty butterfly?" She inquired in amazement.

               "Yes. I can be pretty." I replied in dismay. 

               "Lets go find your mom." I said while I promised myself not to come back to that cell ever again. 

               "What's her name?" I asked.

               "Her name is Seraph and she's a doctor."

Daisy's answer took me aback. I gave a silent gasp and stopped breathing for a moment. For an instant I thought of blurting out the truth to Daisy that her mother was a monster. How could Dr. Seraph experiment on her own daughter? I asked myself. The knowledge flitted in and out of my head as we walked holding hands. I started to remember how Aria and Dmetrei died. Those frightening memories sent a prickle down my spine. Then that strange sensation turned into a rush of jumbled images crashing together inside my mind.


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